Kuan-yin (Perceiver of Sounds), or Kuan-shih-yin (Perceiver of the World’s Sounds) is the Chinese name for Avalokiteśvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, . Source Version, Kuan-yin: the Chinese transformation of Avalokiteśvara / Chün- fang Yü. Yü, Chün-fang, New York: Columbia University Press, c Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Aug 1, , Beata Grant and others published Kuan-yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokiteshvara.

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Explore the Home Gift Guide. Updated September 21st, Rating: Yu’s command of art history and iconography deserve tremendous credit.

Kuan-yin: the Chinese transformation of Avalokiteśvara

She chlnese made the interesting argument that a powerful female Goddess will not necessarily lead to greater equality among women, which was an interesting idea I had not considered before but made sense.

Mia marked it as to-read Dec 20, She addressed marriage resistance, particularly looking at how this type of resistance to marriage was common in the Taoist writings about saintly women, rather than coming from either the Buddhist or Confucian traditions. By far one of the most important objects of worship in the Buddhist traditions, the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is regarded as the embodiment of compassion.

The book starts with Yu’s own miracle ov about her grandmother who was a devotee of Kuan Yin who saved her life as a child by warning her and her mother not to get on a boat that ended up sinking. It seems like earlier interests in the sutras were more practical, safety in this transformatoon or the next, with instant benefits simply by calling on the Buddha.

She argued that this lack of a strong female goddess presented a void that Kuan Yin was able to fill. In addition to these primary sources, Professor Yu, chair of the Department of Religion at Rutgers University, also discusses the contributions of many modern scholars to her topic.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Review A major case study of the Mahayana concept of upaya More than simply looking at the change Kuan Yin underwent in China Yu also looks at the different course Buddhism took.


Dominic Pakenham rated it it was amazing Aug 23, She emphasizes the close relationship between iconography and ritual, and notes the connection between new types of devotional groups and changes in beliefs. Is it correct to refer to Kuan-yin as a “fertility goddess,” as on pages, and ?

LB Johnson marked it as to-read Jan 12, Megan marked it as to-read Feb 09, The worship of important goddesses such as Ma-tsu and Pi-hsia yuan-chiin and the [sectarian] Unborn Mother flourished after Kuan-yin became feminine during the Sung, and came to serve some of the needs of the Chinese people that had gone unful- filled by the territorial and bureaucratic male gods” pp. Showing of 9 reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Set your country here to find out accurate prices.

Kuan-Yin: The Chinese Transformation of Avalokitesvara by Chun-fang Yu

Tags No tags found. Finally finished reading this classic! Amazon Renewed Refurbished products with a warranty. In addition to written documents, art work and iconography Yu also did extensive fieldwork in China about practices that exist today. The book eloquently depicts the domestication of Kuan-yin as a case study of the indigenization of Buddhism in China and illuminates the ways this beloved deity has affected the ot of all Chinese people down the ages.

The Journal of Religion As to contents, I offer the following minor comments and questions.

The causes and processes of this metamorphosis have perplexed Buddhist scholars for centuries. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime.

Kuan-yin: the Chinese transformation of Avalokiteśvara

Kuan-yin Guanyinor Kuan-shih-yin, the Chinese form of the Indian Buddhist bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, has long been the most widely wor- shiped bodhisattva in China and has been venerated under different names in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Tibet.

She starts with the original, the MALE indian bodhisattva Avelokitesvara, and the source suttras, and then discusses how it became a female goddess. Lastly Yu looked at the development of the Venerable Mother Kuan Yin and the way she was incorporated into lots of different sectarian religions at the end of the imperial era. Since Kuan-yin is believed to combine uni- versal salvation with immediate practical aid, this study is a valuable ex- position not only about the goddess but also about the whole practical side of Mahayana Buddhism, a detailed reminder of its promises to aid devotees with healing, protection from fire, drowning, bandits, and many other dangers, the birth and safe delivery of children, and other benefits.


Like Walter Burkett’s Greek Religion, it is not a light, fluffy telling of tales, but a detailed exploration of the goddesses origin, sources and changes in both myth and ritual over time. Hence, originally Buddhist symbols can be incorporated into popular religion and so en- rich its power and scope. Yu also illustrated the money avaalokitesvara be made in the pilgrimage business.

Write a customer review. The author attributes this transformation not to Tibetan avakokitesvara, as some have argued before, but to the influence of Chinese regional cults and iconography expressed in new scriptures and rituals, particularly the “white-robed Kuan-yin,” a female figure robed in white, the transofrmation of clothing worn by Buddhist lay devotees. Her book includes translations of many long pas- sages and even some complete short texts, so it will be a fundamental resource for the study of its topic for years to come.

I just can’t seem to say enough nice things about it Avalokitesvwra to Book Page. See all 9 reviews. Peter marked it as to-read Nov 25, Well worth reading by those interested in the history of Chinese Buddhism or in having a deeper understanding of the part Kuan Yin plays in the lives and hearts of many. She asks questions, explains what she is trying to uncover and summarizes each chapter succinctly.